Zacarias Moussaoui Is A Big Jerk


I doubt that Zacarias Moussaoui had any prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, and as Jeff Taylor noted in his masterful story on the attacks, the FBI ignored the clues he inadvertently provided by his behavior; so strictly speaking he is going to be executed (probably) for a crime he didn't commit. But has anybody ever given a more persuasive performance as a terrorist supervillain? I was going to say "a Central Casting terrorist supervillain," but even a Central Casting character actor couldn't come up with Moussaoui's maddening antics: For that you'd need a real Method genius. (His "Burn In the USA" rendition has even made me go back on my longstanding principle that anybody who takes a swipe at The Boss is OK in my book.) How would you like to be the guy testifying about how his daughter is coping with his wife's death while Moussaoui mocks him? There's something humiliating about this whole process: It's like when they send neo-Nazi wiseacres to get lectured by Holocaust survivors on the assumption that this encounter will finally make them see the error of their ways.

I have no big insights. It's just frustrating for two reasons: Because Moussaoui deserves to be scalped and bastinadoed and crocodile-sheared and bamboo-fingernailed, not executed. (That's an emotional reaction, not a policy recommendation.) And because, as with all the other post-9/11 bait-and-switches, I'm getting mad at somebody who probably had nothing to do with the attack.